NOPD faces challenges in the new year

NOPD faces challenges in the new year

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Chief Shaun Ferguson wants to re-assure the public that his department will remain committed to stopping crime, but he says they face some serious challenges in 2021.

202 people became murder victims last year, compared to 120 murders the year before. That’s a 71 percent increase.

Shootings are up 69 percent and armed robberies are up 22 percent, most of those were carjackings.

Chief Ferguson pointed out, the NOPD created the violent crime abatement investigative unit back in October and while significant arrests have been made, more may be needed to attack the problem. The Chief says he’ll assess the entire department and make the necessary changes.

He also plans to meet with every member of the Criminal Justice System to ensure offenders, in particular violent offenders, are being held accountable.

“We should not be just making arrests. We should hold these violent offenders behind bars and hold them accountable for their actions, so in coming weeks, I, along with my team will be meeting with our various Criminal Justice System partners from the district attorney’s office, to the Criminal Court judges as well as our public defender’s office,” says Chief Shaun Ferguson.

“What’s going on? I think the failure of the city has been that we don’t have a good analysis of what we’re facing,” says Criminologist Peter Scharf, Ph.D. LSU Health Criminologist.

Dr. Peter Scharf says attacking the problem will take more than just arrests. He says it will take getting to the root of what’s happening to understand how to move forward.

Chief Ferguson says manpower is another issue for the NOPD. He says in 2020, they started with 1226 officers, and they started this year with 1186 officers.

He pointed out, there are three recruit classes scheduled for this year, and he’s certainly hoping to hire more officers in 2021.

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